research

My research focuses on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and religious practices in the Himalayas.

I am currently completing a monograph titled Accounting for Awakened Awareness, which focuses on the philosophy of the 15th-century scholar Gorampa Sonam Senge and the unique ways that he connects religious theory and practice in his seminal text, Synopsis of Madhyamaka (dbu ma’i spyi don). At the heart of Gorampa’s writing is a basic question: what constitutes knowledge, and how should a person go about cultivating the right kinds of knowledge? Specifically, this text argues that the highest form of knowledge is a kind of noncnoceptual awareness that is cultivated through philosophical analysis and meditative practices. This nonconceptual awareness transcends rational thought, but is also intimately connected to ethical action. I argue that Gorampa’s views, in addition to challenging Tibetan Buddhist orthodoxy, also complicate contemporary discussions in western analytic philosophy concerning ontology, logic, and ways of knowing.

connie sitting next to his holiness the 42nd sakya trizin

I am also translating the Synopsis of Madhyamaka from Classical Tibetan into English, with the support of a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. I have received previous grants to support the translation of this encyclopedic, 300-page text from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress, and the Khyentse Foundation.

In addition to my academic work on Tibetan philosophy and Buddhist thought, I have also published an audio course on Asian religious traditions for The Great Courses and Audible. My work has also appeared in Buddhadharma, Tricycleand Melody of Dharma Magazine.

My current research is grounded in textual analysis and philosophical interpretation, but I am also interested more broadly in the relationships between religious texts and practices, as well as issues concerning women and gender minorities in religious communities. My next book-length project will investigate the religious roles of Buddhist women in rural northern India.

A downloadable version of my CV can be found here.